Imitators of Christ – 1 Thessalonians 1:6
As individuals and people who live in a free country, we all have choices and freedom. The law states that we have the freedom to choose what we believe. So therefore, we all have choices and different decisions, just as saying that we have different decisions in whether we believe in the gospel of Christ or not.
The church in Thessalonica heard about the gospel through Paul and they were very ready to accept, believe and to turn away from their old life. Paul wrote this letter to them to acknowledge their great faith towards the gospel.
Paul also mentioned that they are becoming imitators of him and of Jesus Christ. The church in Thessalonica patterned their ways according to how Paul patterned his life also according to Jesus. They patterned themselves to the person who brought them the gospel but they didn’t ought to become clones of Paul but they ought to follow his examples as to how Paul lived his Christ-like life.
He also acknowledged that a Christian life is not easy but full of severe suffering, however it encourages him to see that the church in Thessalonica welcomed the gospel with joy given by the Holy Spirit.
Now, as Christians in this modern age, though we didn’t experience the same persecutions before, it doesn’t mean that being a Christian now is without suffering. We have our own fair share of suffering and tribulations too. We have faced so many adversities that sometimes we doubt the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
However, we must always remember and let us always be encouraged by the church of Thessalonica. As they welcomed the gospel with joy, we must also welcome the gospel with joy in the midst of our severe suffering. Just like the Thessalonians, they imitate the person who brought them the gospel, not because to become clones of him but to imitate how he patterned his life according to Jesus’. It is just the same in our present time that we have mentors and accountability buddies where they can remind us to live our lives as imitators of Christ.
Again, our life as Christians will not be easy but we will still undergo suffering and persecutions. However, we must live our lives with joy and hope in our hearts which was given by the Holy Spirit. We must become imitators of Christ for it is God’s will to the people. We must find peace and joy in the midst of our adversities and not look at our present persecutions as a punishment but as a blessing for God is with us throughout our whole life.
Furthermore, being a Christian means an unending fight against the enemy. Since the enemy will always try to snatch us away from the grace of the gospel message, so in order to fight the enemy we must become people who stand firm and read the Scriptures of God for it is our weapon against the enemy.
Also, we must remember that the only way to imitate Christ is to live according to the Word. We must remember that to fully become like Him, we must turn away from our old self and become a newborn in Christ. May we never forget that we have an assurance from our Lord Jesus Christ that if we live in Him, He will be with us as we face the life’s tribulations with joy and hope in our hearts given by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ won the victory over death and sin, so therefore we must always remember that our God is our great defender. We should not be afraid of whatever this life might throw at us because this is the cost of being believers of Christ. However, may we imitate and pattern our lives in Christ and through this we will have the peace amidst adversities.
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